An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Pileated Woodpecker Sign

12-26-13 pileated sign2 IMG_8246Pileated Woodpeckers typically make rectangular holes in trees in order to reach the carpenter ants that live in galleries they’ve created deep within a tree. While ants are high on a Pileated Woodpecker’s list of preferred food, wood-boring beetle larvae are not far behind. Sometimes the exertion of jackhammering isn’t necessary in order to reach insect larvae – removal of the outer bark is enough to expose tasty morsels.

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4 responses

  1. Marilyn

    Although it isn’t so rare to spot these woodpeckers nowadays, it’s always a marvel to watch them hammering, whether for food or communication – and a thrill to catch the flash wings as they swoop through the woods to the next tree trunk.

    December 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

  2. They do accelerate the decomposition of a dead tree, don’t they?!

    December 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm

  3. Marty Green

    These homes don’t really look rectangular to me–maybe I am expecting too much geometry from a natural critter??

    December 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm

  4. Marty Green

    Well, I wrote “holes” but Apple decided I meant “homes.”

    December 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm

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